3
   

US tortures Afghan, presumed innocent, to death

 
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Mar, 2006 05:16 am
Not sure if anyone else has already posted this, but here is the transcript of the Dateline progam which broke the new photos. At the url you can see a video of the program...it is worth playing, because seeing and hearing the testimony is quite different:

http://informationclearinghouse.info/article12258.htm



TRANSCRIPTIn the eyes of much of the world this man is a torturer.
SHALEEK: The prodigal son has returned! This is him, we love him to death.

But in his hometown of Roselle, New Jersey Javal Davis is a young man who lives with his grandparents and goes to church every Sunday. When he left school he joined the army to serve his country.
Soon after spending several months peacekeeping in Bosnia he was shipped off to Iraq.

JAVAL DAVIS, FORMER MILITARY POLICEMAN: We were trained up before we left, you know, all we were going to do, that we were going to go over there, we were going to fight, fight, fight, fight, kill, kill, kill, you know, the enemy.
Once they're destroyed, then we would go home. It didn't turn out to be exactly that way.

Like other guards at Abu Ghraib Javal Davis put prisoners in stress positions, threw cold water on them and played loud music to keep them awake in preparation for interrogations.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting a group of prisoners and then lying about it to investigators, but he says we shouldn't condemn him.

JAVAL DAVIS: Unless you were there, unless you were there, live it, sleep it, eat it every day, you know, stay open about drawing an opinion. It's easy to draw conclusion or what I would have, should have, could have did from the comforts of your living room, from the couch watching CNN.
If you were actually on the other side of CNN, on the other side of the camera, fighting for your life, that's the only way you'd understand, that's it.

KEN DAVIS, FORMER MILITARY POLICEMAN I hate that I would even know the word Abu Ghraib, I hate it because it hurts. it's like a wound that doesn't heal.

Like Javal, Ken Davis was a military policeman in the 372nd Company. He enlisted on September 11, 2001, wanting to do something for his country, but scarred by his experiences in Iraq he left the army and became a policeman in Maryland.

KEN DAVIS: I went over there believing that I can help Iraqi people be free. I believe in that. But after Abu Ghraib, I wish I had never been a part of it.
When someone will come up to me and say, "Hey, we hear you were in Iraq, what unit were you in?" I have to pick my head up and say, "I was with 372nd MP company."

Last year, in my first story on Abu Ghraib, I interviewed Iraqis who were tortured in the prison. Abu Maan and Haj Ali shared terrible stories with me about months they spent without charge being abused by guards and interrogators.

HAJ ALI, (Translation): They’d load a pistol and put it here and tell me in Arabic, “Execution, Execution, Execution.”

ABU MAAN (Translation): What has information got to do with making you drink urine? If his aim was to get information
It’s not about information at all, it’s about a few Americans in a frenzy of sadism, headed by Rumsfeld, sadist number one. And sadism filtered down to some Americans, not all.

HAJ ALI, (Translation): I can never forget their faces. It’s true their features differed but the monster was the same behind the masks they were wearing.

I wanted to find out what had turned ordinary American soldiers into the apparent monsters revealed in the photographs.
According to Ken and Javal, Abu Ghraib was living hell for the guards as well as the prisoners.

JAVAL DAVIS: It was very fearful being alone was, you know, we were out there, we were pretty much on our own at Abu Ghraib.
Like you drive three miles up the street from our prison you're in Fallujah and if you drive a couple miles west, you're in Ramadi. Now if you remember watching television, Fallujah and Ramadi were like the hottest spots in Iraq. We were right there. They would come down from Fallujah, shoot mortars at us and drive back into Fallujah.

The military police from the 372nd Company, like Ken and Javal were never trained to guard prisoners, but at times there were up to 7,000 Iraqis being held in overcrowded conditions for months on end. There were around 75 prisoners to each soldier.

JAVAL DAVIS: We worked seven days straight, you know, 12-, 16-hour days. We didn't have enough people to man all the positions and it was just... it was hard.

REPORTER: And where did you sleep?

JAVAL DAVIS: I slept in the prison cell. It was myself and seven other soldiers, you know, we were seven to a cell. I mean, we slept in the same conditions that the prisoners did.

But the prisoners certainly received different treatment. When I met with Ken and Javal I had already obtained a disc with thousands of previously unreleased photographs taken by MPs who served at the prison. Of the thousands of photos and videos taken at Abu Ghraib most are snapshots of the everyday life of the soldiers. Others reveal how out of control the prison had become.
The most shocking experience for both Javal and Ken, was on November 24, 2003 in the camp compound outside the cellblocks. The prisoners started a riot to protest their living conditions, which official reports say were overcrowded and dangerous.

JAVAL DAVIS: I heard it over the radio, I heard it. All you heard was over the radio "We're out of less lethal, it's not working," you know, "what do we do?"

KEN DAVIS: And the command came back across the radio and it just sent shivers down our backs. They said, "If you're out of non-lethal rounds, we are in a combat zone - you go to lethal rounds."

JAVAL DAVIS: "We're going hot. We're going live." And the next thing you know - boom, boom, brrrr. And you just heard it, like a turkey shoot.

KEN DAVIS: You've got to understand these are Iraqis, unarmed, they might have shanks, spoons that they've sharpened, whatever, tent stakes, rocks, but they're inside of concertina wire, they're not going anywhere. And now they're being shot.
So as I roll up, I have my weapon out, I'm thinking people are breaching the wire, they're coming through. No-one's coming through the wire.

JAVAL DAVIS: Next thing you know, the Medevac chopper's coming in, the helicopters coming in like crazy, they were taking out the wounded ones and the dead ones.

KEN DAVIS: I see them all huddled in a second containment where their tents are and they're dragging a dead guy out and throw him by my feet. So I looked at the chaplain's aide who responded, he had ended up right beside me I said, "What are we doing?" I said, "This guy's dead and he's unarmed."

JAVAL DAVIS: When they went to live ammunition, wow, I mean it's one of those things. I mean, unfortunate a lot of lives were lost that day. Oh, yeah.

These are the corpses of the men killed that day. The US Army told Dateline that the use of live rounds was justified.

KEN DAVIS: And I remember calling home that night and... saying "I can't take this any more because if this is what we're going to do, if this is what we have come to, I'm done." But being done and being able to leave is two different things. So you just have to suck it up, get over it, as they say, and just do what you're told to do.

In the months leading up to the riot, the insurgency had taken hold and the Americans were desperate for intelligence to stop the killing of their troops. In September 2003 General Geoffrey Miller, who was in charge of Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, was sent to Abu Ghraib to upgrade interrogation techniques. When Javal Davis arrived, soon after Miller's new regime had started, things were already far from normal.

JAVAL DAVIS: When we took over from the 72nd MP Company, you know, the guys were butt naked in the jail cells and had like panties on their head. I'm like, I'd never seen that before. I'm like, "Why are these guys naked?" Our company commander was even like, "What's going on with all the nakedness? Why are all these guys naked?" And they're answering back to them from the other MP company was, "Hey, this is what the MI guys - this is what they want", you know. That's how it goes, so.

Putting MI or military intelligence in charge of the MPs was one of General Miller's recommendations, even though it runs counter to army doctrine.

REPORTER: Who told you to stress the prisoners out or who told you to prepare them for interrogation?

JAVAL DAVIS: The military intelligence personnel, they had an analyst, a linguist and an interrogator, their job, they come up with a list of instructions - "OK, keep this guy up, he can sleep up to two hours, up to 5 hours, sleep for 15 minutes, up. Slam the doors, keep them up.” You know, stress positions, things like that.

REPORTER: Nothing inside you thought, "I shouldn't be doing this?"

JAVAL DAVIS: Of course, I mean, it's... I mean who wants to... First off my attitude was I'm tired, I'm the MP, I'm the combat support MP, it's not my job. I don't feel like going around waking everybody up, I want to go to sleep myself.
So some nights I didn't do what they told me to do, that's why I ultimately I was replaced, you know, the story be told correctly.

While he spent several months at Abu Ghraib, Javal Davis only spent one week guarding high value prisoners in Cell Block 1A which is where most of the photos of abuse were taken.

REPORTER: So what did you do in that week you were in Cell Block 1A?

JAVAL DAVIS: Hit the garbage cans, slammed doors, threw cold water, played the radio music loud, stuff like that. That's what I did. I just kept them awake, made life miserable. Put the radio up to the megaphone and play heavy metal music for like four hours straight, you know. That's it.
Some of the younger detainees, you know, they started liking it so you see them playing air guitar out of their cell door, you know, they're like "Yeah." So oh, God, I've got to change this. So I changed all that. I put in rap music one time.
It's like everyone loves hip-hop music, all the youth. So you see them bobbing their heads in the cell, so you're like "Oh, I can't play that." So then I settle with country music. They hate country music. That was the kicker. That worked.

REPORTER: Did you get to... Did you feel that you were turning into a monster?

JAVAL DAVIS: Yeah, I could see... I wouldn't say a monster but, yeah, you could say a monster. I was totally desensitised. It was like after time, over time at being at Abu Ghraib, you know, with your life on the line every day, you just start to not care. I mean, that's pretty much how it went.

The soldier who was seen as the biggest monster of all at Abu Ghraib was the so called ringleader, Charles Graner. This is him on November 8, 2003. The prisoners in these photos are the same people that Javal Davis was convicted of assaulting.
These men were suspected of leading a riot in the outside camp which resulted in a female MP being hit in the face with a brick. This attack infuriated Javal.

JAVAL DAVIS: Everyone was very upset, myself included. That was the last straw. We were eating the same food, living in the same cells, my life sucks just like yours. I'm away from home, you know. You're sitting here, you trying to take our life, that's it. I snapped. And that's what happened.
Your mind frame, your way of thinking is so jaded because, you know, life sucks there. Your life's on the line every day, you lose control. That's what happened. It happened to anyone.

Javal Davis was charged with throwing his bodyweight on the pile of prisoners. According to him it was an isolated 10-second lapse of judgment.

JAVAL DAVIS: If you look at my record of trial, my record of trial, exactly what I'm accused of, exactly what I was charged with, step on the finger and toe of a detainee, landed on them with my body weight, getting up, yelling at them and leaving.

Later that night, when Javal had left the scene, the prisoners were stripped naked and ordered to masturbate. Graner then put the prisoners in formation for a human pyramid.
Ken Davis says that Graner felt he was being compromised and did consult his conscience when he started to torture the prisoners.

KEN DAVIS: Graner actually came to me early in October and had told me that they're making him do things that are legally and morally, he feels are legally and morally wrong.

REPORTER: He said that?

KEN DAVIS: He did, and that was early October. Late October is when all the pictures, a lot of the events started taking place.
When people slate Graner and these seven as monsters, you have to ask yourself who created the environment for this to go on? Who opened the door for these people, these young soldiers to walk through? Those are the monsters.

On November 16, 2003, a few weeks after the torture had begun, Graner got a commendation from his platoon leader, Captain Brinson.

STATEMENT: "Corporal Graner, you are doing a fine job in tier one. You have received many accolades from the military intelligence units here and specifically from Lieutenant Colonel Jordan.
Continue to perform to this level and you will help us succeed at our overall mission".

KEN DAVIS: For someone, after they've done all this, to get a counselling statement praising the work you're doing on Tier 1A in the hard site, you're not going to stop. You're going to keep going and you're going to take it up a notch. You're going to take it up a level, especially when you're getting high fives and that-a-boys and "keep up the great work", you know, from officers of military intelligence and OGA.

Charles Graner is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence.

CHARLES GRANER: I was a soldier and if I did wrong, here I am.

The longest sentence anyone has received for torturing prisoners to death in Iraq is five months.

KEN DAVIS: This is actually my prison cell, that is my bed, where I slept.

Ken Davis came home in early December 2003 to get treatment for an injury. He says he reported the abuses he witnessed to army superiors but no-one took any notice.

KEN DAVIS: At first they're just like "Oh really, see a chaplain, talk to a chaplain about it, talk to the chaplain about it." A lot of people, they use psychology on you, "Well it's all your perception. It's how you perceive things. Maybe it's not as bad as what it really is."

A few weeks later, on January 14, MP Joseph Darby handed investigators a disc containing photos of abuse. Another three months passed before the scandal became public.

JAVAL DAVIS: I was sitting eating in chow hall and I looked up at CNN and I saw a picture of me when I was like 16 years old. I'm like, "What the hell am I doing on television?" And then I saw like the photographs and I couldn't believe it. I'm like, "Oh, my God."

When the torture scandal broke Javal Davis and six other low ranking soldiers were charged for the abuses.
All defended themselves by saying they were acting under direct orders. The army denies this, claiming they acted on their own volition.

JAVAL DAVIS: They tried to say that we were some uneducated, dumb, poor kids from 'Garbagecan' USA when it didn't turn out to be that way. I actually do have a brain, I do have some intelligence and I wasn't going to lay down and let the government run my name into the ground, or my family, or lead people astray. It just isn't going to be that way.

Before Abu Ghraib, Javal Davis had an exemplary record. He was a track and field star at high school, and seeing his leadership potential his coach encouraged him to join the army.
Even though Javal has served his time, he and his family are determined to appeal his conviction. Paul Bergrin is their lawyer.

PAUL BERGRIN, LAWYER: Javal Davis, long time no see!

JAVAL DAVIS: What's going on brother?

Paul Bergrin is pinning his hopes on the upcoming trial of two dog handlers at Abu Ghraib. Sergeants Michael Smith and Santos Cardona who were also charged with abusing prisoners.

PAUL BERGRIN: It's starting to explode from almost the top now.

The former head of military intelligence at Abu Ghraib has been given immunity to testify at the dog handlers' trial. Paul Bergrin is sure this will expose the entire chain of command's responsibility for the abuses.

PAUL BERGRIN: I don't think there's any way in the world anyone wants to know what Rumsfeld told Sanchez, and what Sanchez told Geoffrey Miller, because you know what they told him "We don't care what you do, just get in there and get us information. You can kill 'em for all we care. Treat 'em like dogs". We don't care how you get the information. Your job is to get the information" And I think that is starting to roll down hill.

Javal Davis always saw himself as a proud and dedicated soldier but the way he was treated by the military has left him deeply disillusioned.

JAVAL DAVIS: If I could say something to the decision makers, I'd say, "You stabbed me in the back, you stabbed a whole bunch of soldiers in the back, you know, left a whole lot of soldiers out there to dry, you know." That's what I say to my leadership, "Shame on you."

Ken Davis hasn't lost faith in all of America's institutions, but he thinks that by not telling the truth about Abu Ghraib, the military and the administration will pay the price.

KEN DAVIS: It was said, right in the New Testament, the truth doesn't have to justify itself because the truth will be known, So it's kind of one of those things where OK, if you want to lie, go ahead because the truth will be known and people are going to see it and if that's what you want your legacy based on, fine.
And there are soldiers that know the truth. We battle with what we battle internally, the war isn't over for us because inside is a fight every single day that we live.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Oct, 2006 05:19 pm
The CIA and the German government, shown up as guilty of torture and covering up torture, respectively.

Quote:
German ministers 'knew about CIA torture cells'

The Independent
25 October 2006

The German government is alleged to have received first-hand evidence that the CIA began torturing terrorist suspects at secret prisons in Europe shortly after the September 11 attacks, despite claiming it only knew about such sites through the media. [..]

Stern magazine quoted a leaked German intelligence report yesterday which said that only weeks after September 11 2001, two agents and a translator visited a US military prison at the American "Eagle Base" in the Bosnian town of Tuzla, where they saw a torture victim.

The German intelligence report said US interrogators at the base had beaten a 70-year-old terrorist suspect with rifle butts and that "his injuries meant that he had to be given 20 stitches to the head wound he sustained". The report said the American interrogator responsible "appeared to be proud" of his actions.

Stern said the German intelligence agents had been given access to documents confiscated by the Americans which were "smeared with blood". One German agent was said to have compared the actions of the US interrogators to Serbian war criminals during the break up of Yugoslavia. "The Serbs ended up before the international court in The Hague for this kind of thing," he was quoted as saying.

The two German agents and their translator had been asked to appear at the base to help the Americans interrogate suspects and help evaluate confiscated material. But according to the leaked report, they immediately informed Germany's federal prosecutor of what they had witnessed and left the base shortly afterwards. [..]

Stern said that German intelligence, the country's Federal Criminal Bureau and German military intelligence had all been informed about the agents' visit to "Eagle Base". All three agencies refused to comment on the Stern report yesterday.

Germany was heavily criticised last year for allowing CIA prisoner rendition flights to stop over in the country. The German parliament is currently considering opening an investigation into allegations by a former terrorist suspect held prisoner by the US in Afghanistan that German special forces assisted in his interrogation.
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Oct, 2006 05:26 pm
George W. Bush
President Of the United States Of America
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington. DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,


You have said that Jesus Christ is your favorite philosopher and you've frequently professed your Christian faith.

As you are a Christian, then please ask yourself: Who would Jesus bomb? Who would Jesus kill? Who would Jesus torture? Would Jesus say that killing anyone is the way to build peace? Would Jesus try to exert an unchallenged military dominance over the whole planet (as outlined in your National Security Strategy in 2002)?

Since October 2001, U.S. bombing and invasions have targeted and destroyed vital civilian infrastructure, homes, and human lives in Baghdad, Fallujah, and Kabul, piling misery on loss, adding to human suffering.

Killing and bombing to stop terrorism only brings more hate, more terrorists, and ceaselessly escalating violence. Hunting down every terrorist is mathematically impossible when our violent tactics inflict so much suffering and create more terrorists every day. Your stated goal to win the war on terror and lay the foundation for a lasting peace can never be achieved with an endless blood sacrifice.

Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, and Jewish traditions universally teach that the path toward peace is forgiveness, humility, and compassionate actions, not physical brutality. At the sermon on the mount, Jesus commanded his followers to "love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you" (Matthew 5:44) and the 6th commandment of Mosaic law unequivocally states, "thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13).

To forge a lasting peace built on compassion and humility, our nation can demonstrate that it is prepared to meet the great responsibility that accompanies great wealth and power, and seek a very different course than its present one.

Mr. President, you have the power to declare a withdrawal of U.S. military forces from sovereign nations, to honor and enforce our commitment to international conventions on human rights and nuclear disarmament treaties, to earnestly support the United Nations and its peacekeeping missions, and to act rapidly to address the emerging challenges of energy production and global climate change.

To honor all of those killed or wounded in the name of freedom, our government must live up to its obligations under the rule of law. We must protect all of our Constitutional rights. We must provide for all the wounded returning soldiers who have given so much for their
country. We must honor our dead. We must honor the tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans killed by our actions, and whose violent ends were often noted merely as uncounted "collateral damage", but whose human lives were no less precious than any American's.

Of course, this is not an easy choice to make. As you have noted on several occasions, Mr. President, your job would be a lot easier if this were a dictatorship, but our republic is not a dictatorship and terrorism can not be stopped with force or the blood of adversaries and innocents.

By choosing humility and a path toward peaceful cooperation, not violent domination, our nation can cease to provide the fuel for hatred and terrorism, inspire the noblest aspirations of our long-time allies, and encourage the voices of moderation and democratic freedom in every nation. By building bridges rather than bombing them, this nation can lead by example, illuminating the way toward a lasting peace for the world.

--
Jonathan Woolson
Fredonia, NY
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Oct, 2006 07:49 am
At one point (that we know of, who knows with this administration)waterbaording was an approved method used by the CIA against detainees and it caused at least one death.

(S) ources Say Agency's Tactics Lead to Questionable Confessions, Sometimes to Death

Quote:


However we are now assured that we only approve of CIA dunking detainees heads in water, not waterbaording. Rolling Eyes

"no-brainer."
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 03:37 pm
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 03:43 pm
In his blog, Andrew Sullivan also refers to a new study on the "112 deaths of prisoners in U.S. custody from 2002 to 2005 in Iraq and Afghanistan":

Quote:
Among all homicides, at least 11 involved blunt trauma or asphyxiation. At least 3 homicide cases have resulted in murder charges and 3 resulted in voluntary manslaughter charges.

For the 12 homicide cases for which final autopsy reports are available, gunshot wounds accounted for 4 of the deaths. The remaining 8 homicides were due to: (1) pulmonary embolism due to blunt trauma; (2) blunt force injuries complicating coronary disease; (3) strangulation; (4) blunt force with rhabdomyolysis; (5) cortical brain contusion and subdural hematoma; (6) blunt force with compromised respiration; (7) asphyxia due to chest compression and smothering; and (8) asphyxia due to occlusion of the airway and blunt force injuries...

According to a review conducted by Human Rights First, at least 11 detainee deaths may have been due in part or in whole to physical abuse or harsh conditions of confinement. They further concluded that at least 8 detainees in US custody were tortured to death. Steven Miles, reporting in this journal, put the number of deaths due to torture at 17, with 11 cases occurring in Iraq and 6 occurring in Afghanistan. Many of these deaths involved torture or abuse related to harsh interrogations of the detainees by US personnel.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 03:48 pm
Quote:
Canada: Suspect tortured despite warning

Associated Press
Tue Dec 5, 7:24 PM ET

Canadian police said Tuesday they had told U.S. authorities they had no evidence an Ottawa software engineer was an al-Qaida agent before Washington deported him to Syria, where he was tortured.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli said police initially told U.S. authorities Syrian-born Maher Arar was a "man of interest" and may have ties to Islamic extremists but they later told Washington they had no evidence to support those allegations.

Yet U.S. authorities went ahead and deported Arar to his native Syria, where he says he was tortured into making false confessions, Zaccardelli told a public security hearing in the capital Ottawa.

"RCMP investigators clearly informed U.S. officials that there was no evidence to support criminal charges against Mr. Arar in Canada, that he could not be prevented from entering Canada, and that we were unable to link him to al-Qaida," Zaccardelli said.

The 34-year-old Arar was traveling on a Canadian passport in 2002 when he was detained at New York's Kennedy Airport during a stopover on his way home to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia. Without informing Canada, the U.S. government turned Arar over to Syria where he was tortured, tossed in a small cell and finally released after nearly a year of confinement.

After his release from a Damascus prison in 2003, Arar made detailed allegations about whippings with electrical cables and Canadian authorities determined his account was credible.

Arar was exonerated of all suspicion of terrorist activity in September by a Canadian government commission. [..]

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last month demanded a formal apology from the White House, saying Arar had been unfairly deported to face torture in Syria and that American officials "had not been candid and truthful" in dealing with Canadian authorities. [..]

In September, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said "the people who made the decisions at the time ... determined a couple of things: One, that this individual posed a threat to the United States based on the information that they had; and two, that they were able to assure themselves, they had the reasonable expectation that this individual was not going to be maltreated."

They "had the reasonable expectation that this individual was not going to be maltreated"? In a cell of Syrian dictator Assad? Are they f*cking serious? Do they even expect anyone to take them seriously?

Another innocent man tortured. Another innocent man taken by the US and thrown into the cells of a dictator it formally condemns, when the US was warned all the while that there was no evidence against him.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 05:23 pm
Quote:
A short time ago, in Germany, I spoke with one of the senior advisors of Chancellor Angela Merkel. I noted that a criminal complaint had been filed against Donald Rumsfeld and a number of others invoking universal jurisdiction for war crimes offenses. How would the chancellor see this, I asked? There was a long pause, and I fully expected to get a brush-off response. But what came was very surprising.

"You must remember," said the advisor, "that my chancellor was born and raised in a totalitarian state. She cannot be indifferent to questions of this sort. In fact, she views them as matters of the utmost gravity and they will be treated that way. The Nuremberg process happened in my country. It was painful for us. But we absorbed it. It became a part of our legacy. An important part of our legacy. We will not forget it. But I have to ask you: why has your country forgotten?"

Scott Horton, in a speech at the New School, on the significance of December 7 in American history.

(Taken from Andrew Sullivan's blog)
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 05:32 pm
We can blame our government for the mess we are now in. Bush as the leader and sponsor of torture in our prisons with the blessings of congress and our supreme court has failed all. I'm not so sure things will change with the new congress. Our country is so far down in the shet hole, I'm not sure we'll ever recover our standing as the home of democracy and fair play. We can hope.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Sun 10 Dec, 2006 09:03 pm
nimh wrote:

They "had the reasonable expectation that this individual was not going to be maltreated"? In a cell of Syrian dictator Assad? Are they f*cking serious? Do they even expect anyone to take them seriously?


Exactly. You have to ask exactly what they were hoping to accomplish by sending a Canadian citizen to Syria in the first place?
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Dec, 2006 07:26 am
Former U.S. Detainee in Iraq Recalls Torment

Quote:
One night in mid-April, the steel door clanked shut on detainee No. 200343 at Camp Cropper, the United States military's maximum-security detention site in Baghdad.

American guards arrived at the man's cell periodically over the next several days, shackled his hands and feet, blindfolded him and took him to a padded room for interrogation, the detainee said. After an hour or two, he was returned to his cell, fatigued but unable to sleep.

The fluorescent lights in his cell were never turned off, he said. At most hours, heavy metal or country music blared in the corridor. He said he was rousted at random times without explanation and made to stand in his cell. Even lying down, he said, he was kept from covering his face to block out the light, noise and cold. And when he was released after 97 days he was exhausted, depressed and scared.

Detainee 200343 was among thousands of people who have been held and released by the American military in Iraq, and his account of his ordeal has provided one of the few detailed views of the Pentagon's detention operations since the abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib. Yet in many respects his case is unusual.

The detainee was Donald Vance, a 29-year-old Navy veteran from Chicago who went to Iraq as a security contractor. He wound up as a whistle-blower, passing information to the F.B.I. about suspicious activities at the Iraqi security firm where he worked, including what he said was possible illegal weapons trading.

But when American soldiers raided the company at his urging, Mr. Vance and another American who worked there were detained as suspects by the military, which was unaware that Mr. Vance was an informer, according to officials and military documents.

At Camp Cropper, he took notes on his imprisonment and smuggled them out in a Bible.


(the rest of the article at the link above)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2007 08:22 pm
In another thread, MsOlga has been chronicling the fate of David Hicks:

Quote:
Hicks [..] was visited over two days last week at Camp 5 by his Pentagon-appointed military defence lawyer, Major Michael Mori, [who]said from Washington yesterday[,] "I honestly don't know how David has lasted as long as he has."

Major Mori said Hicks was still being held in solitary confinement for 22 to 23 hours a day and could walk no more than 10 paces in any direction [..]

Quote:
Major Michael Mori, who said Hicks was confined in a one-person cell for 23 hours a day, could not leave for meals and was allowed an hour a day in a "reading room without any books".

Quote:
The US military has prevented a senior Melbourne psychiatrist from visiting David Hicks at Guantanamo Bay to provide an independent mental health assessment for his legal team. [T]he US Administration [refused] to allow Professor Mullen to make a follow-up assessment of Hicks.

[David Hicks' US military lawyer] Major Mori said he was given no reason for the refusal, which conflicts with a policy made two years ago allowing Professor Mullen to visit Hicks.

Quote:
The woman appointed [..] director of military prosecutions to the new Australian Military Court has described the treatment of David Hicks as abominable.

[..] Asked about the treatment of Mr Hicks, who has been held at Guantanamo Bay for more than five years and is not currently charged with any offences, she did not hesitate. "Abominable," she said. "Quite frankly, I think it's wrong. I don't care what he's done or alleged to have done. I think he's entitled to a trial and a fair one [..]
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2007 08:25 pm
Jose Padilla is in a worse state still - over the course of the three and a half years he has been held in mostly solitary confinement, without charges, he appears to have been literally driven mad. See also this earlier copy/paste from The Times.

Quote:
Padilla spent 1,307 days at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston, S.C., where, his lawyers allege, he was kept in solitary, deprived of sleep, drugged with PCP or LSD, held in stress positions, and blindfolded, shackled and deafened on the few occasions he was allowed out of his 9-by-7-foot cell.


Quote:
"Today is May 21," a naval official declared to a camera videotaping the event. "Right now we're ready to do a root canal treatment on Jose Padilla, our enemy combatant."

Several guards in camouflage and riot gear approached cell No. 103. They unlocked a rectangular panel at the bottom of the door and Mr. Padilla's bare feet slid through [..]. As one guard held down a foot with his black boot, the others shackled Mr. Padilla's legs. Next, his hands emerged through another hole to be manacled.

Wordlessly, the guards, pushing into the cell, chained Mr. Padilla's cuffed hands to a metal belt. [H]e lowered his head submissively in expectation of what came next: noise-blocking headphones over his ears and blacked-out goggles over his eyes. Then the guards, whose faces were hidden behind plastic visors, marched their masked, clanking prisoner down the hall to his root canal.

[..] Still frames from the videotape were posted in Mr. Padilla's electronic court file late Friday.


Quote:
The abuse Padilla has endured while in custody, [his lawyers] contend, has [..] rendered [him] incompetent to stand trial.

The logic of the federal government's response to the defense motion was stunningly cold. The U.S. Attorney's office agrees that Padilla needs his competency evaluated. We didn't torture him, argue the representatives of the U.S. government, but if we did, and it made him crazy -- well, then, no claims he makes about said torture can be trusted. He is, after all, mentally incompetent.

Jonathan Turley, a professor of law at George Washington University who specializes in constitutional criminal procedure, calls this argument "bizarre."

"It would create a rather perverse incentive [..] As long as the government can force someone into mental incompetency they cannot face a motion for incompetency in court."

"It would seem," concludes Turley, with great understatement, "to invite abuse."


Quote:
this NPR report on Jose Padilla is easily one of the more disturbing things I've read all day. Padilla, as we've learned, has basically gone insane during his time in U.S. military custody, after four years of stress positions and "total sensory deprivation." But here's the government's defense:

    The government maintains that whatever happened to Padilla during his detention is irrelevant, since no information obtained during that time is being used in the criminal case against him.
Er... so there was real no point in holding him indefinitely, without charges? Is that what's being said here? Not exactly:

    Indeed, there are even some within the government who think it might be best if Padilla were declared incompetent and sent to a psychiatric prison facility. As one high-ranking official put it, "[i]the objective of the government always has been to incapacitate this person[/i]."
Digby points out that the Soviet Union had a term for this: Psikhushka, psychiatric hospitals, which were used to "isolate political prisoners from the rest of society, discredit their ideas, and break them physically and mentally." [..] As with Padilla, the objective was always to incapacitate the person. But hey, comparing U.S. policy with Soviet Russia is overly shrill [..].


(Source, source, source)
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Jan, 2007 08:48 pm
Quote:
JUST DON'T BLOG ABOUT IT:

There's plenty that's appalling in today's front-page New York Times story, about a U.S. military vet working as a whistleblower for the FBI who got picked up mistakenly, tossed in a cell and blasted with fluorescent lights and heavy-metal music, and detained for three months on "secret" charges without being allowed an attorney. But even given the context, I thought this passage at the end stuck out:

    On his way out, Mr. Vance said: "They asked me if I was intending to write a book, would I talk to the press, would I be thinking of getting an attorney. I took it as, 'Shut up, don't talk about this place,' and I kept saying, 'No sir, I want to go home.'"
That's awfully similar to what happened in this story, posted last week, about an air traveler mistakenly detained by the FBI for a brief while (in fairness, this story isn't nearly as gruesome):

    Finally, the agents had earlier asked that, as a favor, I would not write about this experience; I told them there were plenty of other things of this type online, but assured them I wouldn't refer to their names of course and they seemed okay with that reply.
Is this the standard end-of-detention send-off these days? Why, if these officials aren't doing anything wrong, do you suppose they'd be so nervous about being written about?

--Bradford Plumer
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 11:44 am
Interesting turn of events. A German court has issued warrants for the agents involved in the kidnapping of the German citizen in Macedonia.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2576375,00.html

Quote:
A German court has issued arrest warrants for 13 people, thought to be CIA agents, suspected of organising the abduction of a man mistaken for a terrorist.

Christian Schmidt-Sommerfeld, a prosecutor from Munich, said that the warrants were issued in connection with the so-called "extraordinary rendition" of Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, who claims he was kidnapped by US agents on the Macedonian border in 2003.

The case of Mr al-Masri is the best known of several individual allegations against the CIA, which is accused by human rights campaigners of secretly ferrying hundreds of terrorism suspects to detention facilities around the world, often in countries where torture is routine.

In a lawsuit filed against the CIA and three aviation companies allegedly used by the agency, Mr al-Masri said that he was arrested on the border of Serbia and Macedonia on December 31, 2003. He is believed to have been mistaken for an al Qaeda suspect with a similar name.

According to his account, Mr al-Masri was then handed over to US agents who stripped, drugged and chained him to the floor of a private Boeing 737 jet which flew him to Afghanistan, where he was imprisoned without charge in a detention facility near Kabul for four months. He was released on an Albanian hillside in May 2004 when the CIA realised its mistake, he claims.

The case has brought a diplomatic chill to the generally warm relationship between the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and the Bush Administration. In late 2005, Ms Merkel claimed that Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State who was America's National Security Adviser at the time of Mr al-Masri's alleged kidnap, had apologised for his detention.

The US Government has strenuously denied making any apology for the case. In May last year, the Justice Department invoked the rarely used state secrets privilege to have Mr al-Masri's allegations dismissed from civil court. "There is no way that the case can go forward without causing the damage to the national security," argued Assistant US Attorney, Joseph Sher.

The arrest warrants issued this week are believed to stem from information handed to German prosecutors by their Spanish counterparts three months ago.

Last October, German media reported that Spanish investigators had handed a list of about 20 names of suspected CIA agents to German prosecutors following inquiries in Mallorca, which is believed to be a staging post for dozens of secret flights. The Boeing 737 that is believed to have carried Mr al-Masri left the island on December 24, 2003.

A New York Times inquiry based on the names turned up by Spanish investigators traced 18 of them to a cluster of shared post office boxes in Virginia, near the CIA headquarters in Langley. The social security numbers held by many of the named suspects had been issued in the last five years, suggesting the use of aliases.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 11:49 am
Your link only opens an A2K reply window, Duck.

Here is the related report by Spiegel-online.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 12:00 pm
Thanks Walter. I pasted the wrong link. I've edited with the correct link.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 12:21 pm
My respect for the German court is growing. No other country has challenged what the US government has done including the breaking of international laws. I would like to see this information sharing continue on this case on a2k.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 12:33 pm
FreeDuck wrote:
Thanks Walter. I pasted the wrong link. I've edited with the correct link.


How were you able to do that after Walter posted?
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Jan, 2007 12:38 pm
I'm magic.
0 Replies
 
 

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